My mother was a Senior Nursing Superintendent in an Indian government hospital. As a child, I used to visit the hospital sometimes, and on one occasion, I was introduced to a patient who was dying of tongue carcinoma. I had seen very sick patients before, but this lady’s condition gave me food for thought, and I asked my mother questions about her and her condition. I also wanted to know how I could avoid her fate. My mother told me that dental and oral hygiene was the key to preventing oral cancers and that regular dental check-ups were vital in recognizing such problems at a treatable stage. I had always intended to work in healthcare and help people, and I love the idea of acquiring the skills and knowledge to help people avoid that lady’s fate. I have found great satisfaction in dentistry and have never regretted my choice. My immediate goal now is to qualify to practice as a dentist in the US, gain some experience in the local professional environment, and earn a Master’s in Endodontics.
I was admitted to the prestigious Holy Cross Dental College, Vellore, India, which ranks very high in the Indian National Institutions Ranking Framework. I sought to excel in the program, and my results reflected my efforts. I ranked first in clinical work and my second-year prosthodontics clinical examination. My work in wax plate adaptation has been used as a model for post-graduate lab studies.
India has significant oral and dental health problems with disproportionate incidences of oral cancers, early teeth loss, and other issues arising from a lack of services and public awareness of the importance of oral and dental hygiene and the dangers of habits such as smoking and tobacco chewing. I was involved in providing free dental screenings and awareness education in underserved rural areas during my training and later as a volunteer, which brought the extent of the problems home to me. I intend to give some of my time and skills in the future to provide education and treatment to the underserved.
After graduation, I was one of six candidates of about 1,000 who secured a job as a Dentist in an incredibly prestigious Government Hospital. Three highly skilled and dedicated senior doctors mentored me, including a periodontist and an endodontist. We saw around 200 outpatients daily for consultations and provided a vast range of dental services. I am also experienced in working with advanced dental technologies such as Digital Radiography and Intra Oral Cameras. I participated in daily meetings to discuss general issues and possible solutions. We also discussed the latest medical news. I actively participated in knowledge-sharing sessions on dental advancements. I am excited to be part of a profession in which there are many advances in materials and techniques to benefit patients. I hope to play a role in such future developments by assisting in research.
I became involved in the management side of my hospital by planning for dental camps, interviewing new candidates, transferring patients to institutions providing higher levels of care, etc. The head of administration greatly appreciated my leadership and administrative skills and encouraged me to consider Management studies. So I earned an MBA in Hospital Administration, gaining in-depth leadership and business skills I believe are necessary for corporate dentistry and public health, to facilitate patient-centric, data-driven dental practices.
My first experience with the US healthcare system arose during and after my pregnancy, and I was very impressed with the highly efficient yet caring medical environment. Following the birth of my son, I decided to familiarize myself with local dentistry as far as possible to prepare myself for this application and a career here in America. I shadowed a dedicated and experienced practitioner who taught me much, as did his staff. I have sought to make friends with local and international dental students and have shared insights about the contrasts between practicing here and elsewhere. I continuously endeavor to update myself with current advances and opinions by carefully reading journals and research.
I enjoy being exposed to varied cultures and sharing knowledge of my heritage. I am a friendly, outgoing person with a well-developed sense of humor and am fully fluent in English and my native Tamil language.
I have treated various patient types with multiple conditions; I excelled academically and clinically during my training; I am an ambitious and able person with considerable potential. However, my main recommendation is a passion for dentistry and helping patients maintain excellent dental and oral health.